From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the cube to carry random obscure video games again into the sunshine. This week… with followers like these, who wants enemies?
Quest for Glory is certainly one of my favorite collection of all time, a mixture of basic journey and RPG in a world stuffed with dreadful puns, hidden secrets and techniques, and lovely surroundings that stretched from the primary sport’s European forests to the grim horrors of Transylvanian Mordavia. Quest for Glory 4 specifically is a masterpiece; a sport that not solely assumes you will have the intelligence to easily roll with its Slavic setting and rogues, however which which options certainly one of my favorite villains/not fairly villains of all time. The entire collection is out there on GOG and Steam, and I urge you to test it out with a lot haste.
After which… after which there’s Quest for Glory 4 1/2: So You Thought You Have been A Hero, a fan-made interquel that returns to the primary sport to see what occurred after you left. It is lengthy. It is robust. And it is so controversial, not less than one fan-forum has banned even mentioning it. Uh. Gulp?
Comes a hero from the East
Free the person inside the beast
Deliver the kid from out the band
Drive the curser from the land
To shortly set the scene, Quest for Glory 1: So You Need To Be A Hero is the story of a contemporary graduate from a heroism correspondence course, trying to make his title within the small city of Spielburg. The Baron’s son and daughter have each vanished in mysterious circumstances, evil witch Baba Yaga has moved into the valley, and a small military of brigands and goblins is terrorising the already harmful forest. Into this you step with little greater than goals of heroism, the cloak in your again, and the flexibility to signal your title with a flourish. It is a pretty small-scale risk, however you are solely a rookie. To date.
There is a ton I might say about Quest for Glory 1, nearly all of it constructive, particularly in its VGA remake. Just a few ‘lifeless man strolling’ moments apart, it is a fantastic journey in a spectacularly wealthy world—not merely in providing a number of methods to resolve many puzzles, however enjoying with the instruments it provides you. Take the lockpick. Apply it to your self. “Click” comes a message, as you efficiently decide your nostril. Alternatively, if you happen to’re a magic person, you find yourself with an entire sack stuffed with spells that are not simply restricted to fight. They will not essentially work to resolve a selected puzzle, however not less than you may attempt to be instructed precisely why you failed. And normally get a humorous line or dying message out of it.
(It is a Sierra journey. There’s a whole lot of methods to die.)
The one actually bizarre factor is the character decisions. Fighter goes with out saying, as does Magic Consumer—a full-on Wizard must know extra spells. Thief however is somewhat unusual, since you’re inspired to fund your quest by robbing harmless individuals and fencing their stuff on the Thieves’ Guild. I am simply unsure you may name your self a ‘hero’ if you raised your beginning funds by breaking into an previous girl’s home and shovelling every little thing down your hero pants. However, hey. Wants of the numerous, proper?
Not like later video games within the collection, there’s not a whole lot of story to spoil in Quest for Glory, so I will simply say what occurs. It is vital for what’s to come back, as Quest for Glory 4.5 is a direct sequel that returns to Spielburg particularly to see what’s modified because you left. I will solely hit an important bits although, leaving the small print obscure and saving as a lot cool stuff to search out in the principle sport as doable.
Briefly, having arrived on the town and completed just a few errands, you uncover the Baron’s son has been morphed right into a bear, and his daughter is presently brainwashed and truly commanding the brigands from their secret base. With braveness and a helpful Dispel Potion, you restore each of them to their previous selves and switch your consideration to Baba Yaga, besting this way more highly effective magic person and booting her and her chicken-footed hut out of city. Everybody goes “Yay!”, declares you Hero of Spielburg, and off you head to your subsequent, extra epic journey. That is about it. As I stated, not a lot story.
Quest for Glory 4.5 kicks off later, with the Hero attending the 10-year reunion for his… correspondence faculty course? I am unsure if that is meant to be a joke, or simply the creator having no thought what these phrases imply, by no means thoughts the way to put them right into a sentence. Listening to the occasion speaker describe his heroism as “a shoddy job of heroing that left that poor valley worse off than it was before” although, he slinks again to complete what he began. Cue sport! And attempting to not assume too laborious about canon!
To offer Quest for Glory 4.5 some credit score, it tries surprisingly laborious. The graphics are a horrible mish-mash of sources, with many of the backgrounds and characters stolen from different Sierra video games, and the code is buggy, damaged, and barely held along with spit and sellotape, nevertheless it units out to be a correct QFG-style sport. You get to decide on a category, and every has distinctive stuff to do. There is a fight interface that is about as a lot enjoyable as root canal surgical procedure… however then, the unique wasn’t nice both. The world is large, and does even have correct puzzles to resolve. It is an precise journey, not only a joke sport, like (sigh) “Quest for Orgy”. In one other life, it’d even have been spectacular. So what went unsuitable?
Oh, y’know. Just a few issues. Right here and there.
Arriving again within the valley of Spielburg, now not reduce off from the remainder of the world, the Hero is straight away greeted by the previous Baronet, now full-fat Baron Barnard von Spielburg.
“We are no longer in need of your services,” he sneers, fairly true to character. “Unlike my father, I can take care of the valley myself. If I see you around again, you will be arrested.”
Properly, along with his voice saying “no”, however his eyes saying “no, really”, by no means thoughts. Nonetheless, the city of Spielburg is simply down the highway, and it might appear a disgrace to not name in and meet up with some previous pals earlier than heading off to depart this completely saved valley as saved because it so clearly is.
At first look, issues appear to be OK. Positive, the as soon as homely however snug Hero’s Story Inn is now the “Legitimate Businessman’s Social Club”, however Zara’s Magic Store is way because it was once, and the Adventurer’s Guild is positively bustling. It even has Robin Hood from Conquests of the Longbow as its new resident hero, Sir Richard—and he should be busy, since one other model of Robin Hood from Conquests of the Longbow is sitting outdoors the city promoting trinkets, as if the author of this sport did not have many portraits to attract from. Very very similar to it not less than. Actually, what’s the issue right here?
Yeah. Put merely, Quest for Glory 4 1/2 is a really humourous sport. Within the sense that in historic medication, the 4 humors have been thought-about to be blood, black and yellow bile, and phlegm.
However by no means thoughts. A hero generally is a hero within the darkest of conditions, so a merely dumb one needs to be no downside. Like all Quest for Glory sport, you begin by fixing just a few small issues to search out out what the true downside is, package up and cope with it because it deserves. On this case, the issues are misogyny, homophobia, bathroom humour, and bugs, and the answer is to uninstall the sport.
As a Magic Consumer although, one of the simplest ways to begin is to interrupt it. There’s an encounter within the woods, considerably inevitably involving the forged of Conquests of the Longbow, you could entry proper initially. By speaking to them for a couple of minutes, you get a free spell known as “Leprechaun’s Gold” that creates pretend cash. It does not work within the Magic Store or financial institution, however in any other case—financial system damaged!
Wandering round, there is a distinct lack of main issues to type out. Going as much as the fort will get you thrown into the dungeon from King’s Quest 5 for no obvious motive, however everybody within the city is fairly pleasant. The most important downside within the Adventurer’s Guild is that one of many members needs to air out his member by changing into a nudist, and even the Undoubtedly Not Mafia Goons within the Reputable Businessman’s Social Membership are moderately amiable. They nearly definitely did not even kill the previous Sheriff, as a result of they are saying they did not, and why would they lie about one thing so critical?
So clearly, the very first thing to do is attempt to get a date. There are two choices—a barmaid in Coyote Ugly who needs you to choose a struggle with the Mafia by rescuing a butcher from the jail, and a bashful centaur apple vendor whose enterprise is in hassle after the dying of her father, and who urgently wants a robust hero to hoe her girl backyard. What? There may be completely nothing sexual about that at—
Having fairly actually made the beast with two backs, in a scene that seemingly took not less than 4 months of hardcore analysis to carry to life, and with no apparent leads on the Mafia sub-plot past the truth that mooks presently outnumber the remainder of the inhabitants by about three-to-one and the Baron appears fairly comfortable to hold the butcher of their place, it is time to head out and see what else is occurring.
Not a lot is occurring. An ice large, Brauggi, returns from the primary sport to supply the same problem as final time—barter or struggle. The one distinction is that whereas the primary sport he wanted meals, this time he needs to “Hasten to free thee of homosexual garments,” which makes even much less sense than many of the typo-ridden dialogue on this sport. “Though twas a gift from a relative, Yon that from whence came they baggy, fruity pants,” he continues. “And Fruitiness of pants has overshadowed, With flaming leather mini-vest. Many a foe excite in slander, With flames such as Ice Homosexual.”
Good grief. All of the sudden I really feel nostalgic for The Eye of Argon.
Swapping garments for a magic ring—particularly, The Ring That Instructions Water from Conquests of the Longbow, although on this sport it really works on ice—heading out reveals just a few extra acquainted, principally unemployed faces, and a lot more the writer apparently put in as a result of he had sprites for them. The closest any of them get to an actual joke is that an ogre you beat up within the first sport has known as a lawyer, who calls for 200 gold to not press costs. He accepts Leprechaun Gold. Cool quest, bro.
Anyway, subsequent comes one of many quests that almost all aggravated followers—a second encounter with a dryad, who examined your devotion to nature within the authentic sport and now needs you to show your self once more… by murdering some filthy hippies and stealing their filthy bong. Heroic, no?
Quest for Conservatism continues with the invention that the previous Brigand fortress is now a redneck-themed bar and grill and and laundry for some motive, which you’ll be able to solely get into by carrying a Accomplice flag for a cape.
Evidently, it has no relation to something in any way, until you wish to play the crashiest poker sport ever added to a sport, save the hilarity of… regardless of the joke is. I spent a while inspecting it rigorously, and got here to the conclusion that it is humorous as a result of a redneck bar is not the form of factor you’d count on to see in a fantasy kingdom. That reality alone makes it hilarious as a result of that is how comedy works. Image a bowling ball in a fridge. Genius!
With the sport greater than half over and nonetheless no thought of simply what the hell the purpose of it’s, it is time to head out of the acquainted Quest for Glory territory and down the cross that was closed off within the first sport (performed right here by random screens from King’s Quest 5, although the type roughly matches Quest for Glory 1) in quest of solutions outdoors the valley.
Spoiler: There are not any, until you depend stumbling on the rationale I believe we will assume is the principle motive this fan-game was made within the first place.
Cue a spectacularly un-sexy dialogue mini-game the place you get to present orders to certainly one of two intercourse workders, footage little question pinched from some random web site. “You tell me what you want me to do, and I do it, okay?” says both “Red” or “Betty” (essentially the most erotic of all of the names!), with choices together with issues like “Take Off Dress” and “Feel Breasts”, however oddly not “Discuss Aristotle”, “Debate the sociopolitical implications of the sex industry in the context of a feudal society based on an inherently patriarchal system offering little in the way of social mobility,” or “Poop on this glass table.”
“Comes a hero from the East” certainly…
Apart from being the rationale this sport was made, it is a pretty pointless location—in sensible phrases, providing nothing however an advert for male ballerinas that you just give to a literal large fairy. You see the joke there? In a obscure try and steadiness that with one thing barely much less dumb, it is value noting that it is round now that you just additionally bump right into a would-be evil overlord kind who’s pretty generic as a personality, however is not less than vaguely humorous. A straightforward gag, positive, however credit score the place it is due and all that.
Returning to city, the plot of the sport lastly will get began when the beautiful Bella seems to warn that the gangsters are… wait, who’s Bella? (checks) Oh. A woman who appeared within the Reputable Businessmen’s Social Membership, however whom you by no means had a lot as a dialog with. This ensures that you just’re actually, actually unhappy when she instantly turns up lifeless. Oh, Bella. We hardly knew ye. No, actually.
Fortunately, you conveniently have a potion able to resurrecting the lifeless from serving to another person out, with the one side-effect being that it turns her evil. Helpfully evil although, telling you the place to search out proof that the Baron is working with the Mafia. Extra proof than the phrase “Duuuuuuh….” not less than, particularly as she provides that everybody is already effectively conscious of this reality. A fast little bit of infiltration later although and also you not less than have strong proof, and it is time to carry justice as soon as once more, to march as much as the fort gates, demand an viewers, insist the Baron resign his dastardly methods, and—
Escaping from the dungeon from King’s Quest 5 with the assistance of some furry critters, it is the work of a fast jaunt to the Baron’s chambers to search out some laborious proof towards him. For some motive he writes down all of his evil plans in his diary, and indicators every entry simply to make completely positive everybody is aware of it was him confessing to having kidnapped his sister Elsa and locked her far-off in some ice caves in order that he will get to… uh… run the valley, like he would anyway, as a result of that is kinda how patriarchal feudalism works, even when Elsa is infinitely extra succesful than her boastful shit of a brother.
Not less than, usually she’s infinitely extra succesful. This being Quest For Glory 4.5, it acknowledges the truth that she’s a former brigand chief and terror of the valley, however nonetheless has her resolve that one of the simplest ways of taking again her father’s fort is… hiding till the Hero kinds every little thing out on her behalf.
Yeah. That is not Elsa.
The plot continues to “whatever” its approach in direction of the climax with one of many dumbest scenes ever. The Baron’s enforcer, Lord Richard, seems to entice the hero on the opposite facet of a mighty ravine by eradicating the lasso he used to cross it. “I have your rope!” he chortles. “You have two options at this point. One, you can freeze to death over there… or two you can freeze to death! Hahahaha!”
At this level, you’d assume it might be time to go raid the fort, cease the Baron, kick some arse and all that. This being Quest for Glory 4.5 although, you first need to go on an extended sea voyage to get better an amulet you haven’t any approach of realizing you want and will not even be talked about till you discover it.
Nonetheless, to present it credit score, not less than the previous few scenes of Quest for Glory 4.5 have not been too dangerous. It is tried drama with issues like Bella’s dying and rebirth, and is able to transfer the plot alongside by letting you filter the mafia by exhibiting the appropriate particular person on the town the proof that may get them overwhelmed and kicked out of city. You would even say that issues are lastly coming collectively in some type of ‘quest’.
Sure. From humble beginnings doing already outdated Coyote Ugly jokes, it is as if the sport has truly grown and matured in entrance of our eyes, growing into one thing that—whereas unquestionably buggy, flawed and poorly written—might completely be seen as a correct, respectable fan-game as an alternative of—
Escaping the dreaded Gay Pirates (no relation to the Arse Bandits, and sure, I apologise), you get to return to Spielburg with the amulet, which helps you to open up a secret passage into the fort for the ultimate reckoning with the Baron. It begins… poorly. Apparently he is effectively conscious of that secret passage, and has been ready there for the previous few days within the hope that you’re going to use it.
“Well, this is it for you, brave hero,” he sneers. “Now, the question is, should I give you a quick death? Or make it last for all to enjoy. Do you have anything that might tempt me to kill you quickly?”
Properly… you might be carrying a seductive wanting treasure map…
Badoom-tssh. With Barnard now formally out of the way in which, Elsa lastly will get off her arse and exhibits as much as assist, having assembled the complete sport’s inhabitants to… stand outdoors and do nothing. “You served my father, and earned yourself the title of Hero of Spielburg,” she broadcasts. “And again you have helped my family, but this time you served me. And for that I bestow upon you the title of my friend.”
Little bit of a disgrace that does not actually apply as of Quest for Glory 5, actually.
So, that is Quest for Glory 4 1/2, probably the most controversial, despised fan-games of all time. Is it actually as dangerous as individuals say it’s; an journey whose mere existence is a blight on the world?
It isn’t an excellent sport. Puzzles are poorly defined, many of the sport is obscure, it is extremely buggy, and the graphics not merely stolen from different Sierra adventures are hideous past phrases. On the similar time although, it truly does really feel like a Quest for Glory. It could not maintain a candle to the precise collection, however that should not be a shock for a one-person fan undertaking. For what it’s, and the primitive model of Journey Sport Studio it was constructed with, it truly will get moderately shut, from bothering with the totally different lessons (to not less than some extent, like giving the Thief locations to interrupt into and the Fighter a sub-quest involving a homicide sufferer that solely he’s seemingly to have the ability to deal with) to implementing the magic system and QFG1 fight engine. It could be a technical mess, nevertheless it’s extra profitable than you’d assume.
Sadly, every little thing it does effectively is stabbed proper via the face by the dreadful, dreadful humour. It isn’t merely that it does intercourse, homosexual, bathroom and different vaguely-controversial-but-mostly-just-sad jokes, however that it does them so spectacularly poorly. Particular person scenes just like the gratuitous intercourse bits or the Coyote Ugly joke completely overshadow and destroy any goodwill in direction of the principle sport, and are not helped by the final perspective. Far an excessive amount of of it’s mean-spirited or simply plain insulting, with the hero ending up a con-artist assassin slightly than a hero in a sport that does not play issues unfastened sufficient for laughs.
The factor is that the fundamental thought—returning to Spielburg to search out the job not but completed—is not a nasty one. At occasions, it nearly seems like the author regretted doing it as a parody and saved transferring in direction of simply doing a plain fan-sequel. That will have been value seeing, and rather more warmly remembered even when it was nonetheless technically damaged and riddled with primary journey design errors.
As for the originals, as stated, I extremely advocate them. The third is a little bit of a filler sport, the fifth stumbles with its 3D world and extra arcade type motion, however all of them have their charms—and it is value enjoying simply to benefit from the completely fantastic Quest For Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness. Play them so as, and you’ll even take the identical character via the entire collection—exporting and importing your character for every new journey. Hardly ever have RPGs had such heat to them, a lot character, or so many hidden issues to find even years later. It is a collection that oddly by no means bought the celebrity of lots of Sierra’s basic franchises, however was completely probably the greatest.
This one although? Yeah. Skip this one. Even when it is not as dangerous as individuals say.